1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,228 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,228
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 29
Gots: 131 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,228 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TeamAlphaDoG


1/5  rDev -72.9%

06-19-2012 21:46:40 | More by TeamAlphaDoG
Photo of Craftonly23121

Rhode Island

1/5  rDev -72.9%

08-15-2013 23:31:46 | More by Craftonly23121
Photo of dcolatriano


1/5  rDev -72.9%

10-10-2012 13:59:05 | More by dcolatriano
Photo of icebergfat

South Carolina

1.15/5  rDev -68.8%

Appearance: Sort of an amber orange color w/ light orange head that was over carbonated, nothing to write home about.

Smell: Hints of grapefruit and citrus but very minor and hardly any hop aroma not what I would expect from a pale ale once again quite mediocre.

Taste: This what really let me down , terrible I don't know how to describe the taste(just trust me it's bad) and this really dissapointed me because I've really liked everything else I've had from Founder's (Breakfast Stout,Old Curmudgeon, Backwoods Bastard, Dirty Bastard(and I don't usually like scotch ale)so I was really let down, had to pour it out.

Mouthfeel: Tinny, Dry, hardly goes down.

Drinkability: None what so ever, although I did use it in a soup I made today instead of white wine and that came out ok, so I guess it does have some redeeming qualities after all, drinking is just not one of them.

02-18-2009 06:25:27 | More by icebergfat
Photo of crayphish


1.85/5  rDev -49.9%

This Founders brew pours to a half inch of liquid, and a 4 inch fizzy head. Dumped that pour and tried a different glass, same thing. Very annoying. Took me 6 minutes to empty the bottle. Smell is a medicinal hop aroma, seems artificial. Taste is again the artificial mediciney hop flavor. Not much else can be discerned. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. I barely finished this brew, I have no idea what happened here, and I hope this was an old lot.

11-07-2007 18:23:00 | More by crayphish
Photo of mattcrill


1.95/5  rDev -47.2%

Appearance: Pours a deep honey yellow with visible carbonation throughout the body. A billowy tight white cap forms. I see bits of what I can only assume are hop floaties. Pretty good looking in my nonic tumbler.

Smell: A mix of citrusy hops, some floral hop notes, with a wheaty base to it. I'm picking up some yeast notes as well. A little light in this department but certainly forgiveable for the style.

Taste: A belgian yeasty funk dominates this brew. Not good in my book. Mostly floral hop notes noted. A wheat bread base to this is the most dominate flavor noted on the palate. A very yeasty and bready finish. I feel deceived as the aroma did not match the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and prickly.

Drinkability: I'm sure had I expected this, it may be a nice summer session beer. It tasted too much like a bad belgian beer to me. I'm not sure if the batch was off or the yeast just went wild but this beer is WAY too funky for me. I won't be going back to this one for sure. Likeable enough I suppose but certainly not to style. Avoid.

Notes: I couldn't handle this beer. This was only the second beer I've ever had that ended up in a drain pour. Most definitely AVOID.

08-02-2005 20:12:36 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Dcunicelli


2/5  rDev -45.8%

06-21-2013 19:58:10 | More by Dcunicelli
Photo of DCdevyl78


2/5  rDev -45.8%

01-30-2014 01:41:50 | More by DCdevyl78
Photo of Massbmx


2/5  rDev -45.8%

01-01-2012 22:29:11 | More by Massbmx
Photo of RyanAU

North Carolina

2/5  rDev -45.8%

02-17-2014 18:13:27 | More by RyanAU
Photo of melisassy


2/5  rDev -45.8%

05-18-2013 01:58:37 | More by melisassy
Photo of pmorris71


2/5  rDev -45.8%

01-12-2014 02:31:53 | More by pmorris71
Photo of miodusb


2/5  rDev -45.8%

04-06-2013 18:43:53 | More by miodusb
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


2.03/5  rDev -45%

Packaged in a stubby 12 oz twist off amber bottle
Served at fridge temp about 35F
Aroma at bottleneck: none noted
Pour: Wow, fizz bomb! 7/8 foam to 1/8 beer. Rock hard head, evidence of a heading agent? I walked away to let it settle, when I came back it was still a mountain of foam, like aerosol insulation. Carefully decanted the rest, raising the mountain of foam an inch or so above the rim of the pint glass.
Appearance in glass: very cloudy, light golden color.
Aroma in glass: very sweet, smells like honey, with a hint of citrus.
Taste: Sweet, with slight hop bitterness, watery mouthfeel, honey aftertaste.
Upon warming, a little more drinkable, but not actually tastier. Smells just like a cup of tea with a tablespoon of honey added. Not trying to be mean, but it just doesn't smell like an ale.
Drinkability: Poor, but not a sink-pour. I really hope this was a bad batch. It's hard to believe this is a dry hopped beer, since it has no hop aroma. From this sample it seems as if they tranferred the beer early to the bottling line--neither dry hopping it nor allowing it to ferment out completely before bottling. I'm going to come back to this beer in a couple months to see whether it was indeed a fluke, since Founders Red 's Rye and Founders Centennial are so nice.

11-28-2006 01:06:42 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of beachfirebrews


2.08/5  rDev -43.6%

Pours a nice copper color, but with almost no head. Very sweet, almost pungent aroma. Overly sweet for a pale ale - it almost tastes artificially sweet (both I and the person I was drinking with said it tastes like Splenda was added to it). Nor is it very hoppy - I would never have guessed this was dry hopped. Also, way over-carbonated. Overall, not a great representation of an American Pale Ale, nor a beer from Founders.

02-28-2012 03:23:38 | More by beachfirebrews
Photo of Bighuge


2.2/5  rDev -40.4%

Dull amber-orange. The body of the beer is speckled with particles in suspension. No head to speak of . Just a slight collar that leaves sparse lace. Nose is citrus, orange peel and light biscuit malts. Flavor is sweet over bitter. For a pale ale, I'd call this a cloying sweetness even. Just not appropriate. Hops are minimized in it all. Some dry cedar like tones derived from hops I believe. Body is thick and syrupy. Really not that enjoyable.

02-05-2006 05:29:13 | More by Bighuge
Photo of jsh420


2.23/5  rDev -39.6%

bottled 09/23/10

pours hazy golden copper with a 1+ finger head that faded and left some spotted lacing

smell - dry hopped lmao - faint bready caramel malt and light herbal hops

taste - wtf founders???? this is a watered down bready SNPA/Celebration

mouthfeel light medium with decent carbonation - the only highlight of this beer

drinkability - not good - the only weak link in founder's armor - i have had this beer a few times before but didn't want to throw up a negative review but this beer just never got better - shame on you founders

11-21-2010 03:59:27 | More by jsh420
Photo of Tibi81

2.25/5  rDev -39%

01-17-2013 12:34:57 | More by Tibi81
Photo of vfgccp

New York

2.25/5  rDev -39%

A - Solid gold with a finely bubbled white head. Ok lace and retention.

S - Very light. Malt. Mild coriander.

T - Mildly soapy / lipid-like. Cardamom, coriander, light malt. Disappointingly one-note.

M - Light body with nice carbonation.

O - Surpising off-flavors. Possibly a bad bottle?

04-08-2011 21:00:57 | More by vfgccp
Photo of nsheehan


2.25/5  rDev -39%

12oz to libbey pub pint
5.4% ABV
35 IBUs
Bottled 07/24/13, purchased ~8/28/2013
A – A cloudy gold with a tinge of some amber, a tiny bit of transparency. Somewhat translucent. Thin layer of cream colored head.
S – Some OK fruitiness and plant aroma, and slightly burnt pizza crust. Grass, peach, cantaloupe, and a bit of citrus. An earthy smell that really reminds me of singed pizza crust. Also a faint note of greenness, like washed lettuce.
T – Grassy and green tasting, with a fair amount of bitterness. A faint amount of a citrusy melon. No other fruitiness or earthiness detected so far. Reminds me quite a bit of smelling lilies.
M – Light bodied and a tad soft on the tongue, with a good amount of gentle tingle. Somewhat sharp in the cheeks, feels rough. A pretty dry and rough finish that detracts a lot.
D – Seems quite unrefined and is not nice feeling to drink. Can’t recommend, and it would be hard to choose between a AAL and this given an option at a tailgate or something.
3.75, 2, 2.25, 2, 2.25; 2.13

08-31-2013 03:39:57 | More by nsheehan
Photo of B967ierhunter177


2.28/5  rDev -38.2%

Pours a clear gold with a thin heaad that disappears quickly. The aroma is floral with hints of caramel and dough. The flavor is spicy caramel with mild malt sweetness and strong hop bitterness but not overwhelming. It's mouthfeel is mediumn, dry and refreshing. Founders Pale Ale is a decent beer, recommended.

09-13-2011 23:05:47 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of bawoof


2.35/5  rDev -36.3%

I was somewhat disappointed in this ale from Founders. I find most of the ales they produce to be outstanding. I will skip this one next time and grab a Red's Rye or a Centennial IPA. This is one of the best Midwest brewers that I have tried and wish them success. Have you tried their Backwoods Bastard Ale?...

01-09-2009 03:18:41 | More by bawoof
Photo of NODAK


2.35/5  rDev -36.3%

Nose has a lot of grapefruit hops on it...dry, clean. Straight forward.

Carbonation is very spritzy, to the point of being a distraction to me. Taste is...well...very hoppy as compared to what I'd have expected for style. Loads of aggressive grapefruit hops assert themselves early and often in this beer. There's a bready malty note on the backend, and that's all I get for balance. Astringent citrus peel bitterness remains during and after the swallow.

For me, this isn't high up on the list of APA's I enjoy. I find it just too aggressive and unbalanced.

08-29-2010 01:55:41 | More by NODAK
Photo of AwYeh


2.4/5  rDev -35%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter; unfortunately, the bottling date didn't seem to hold on this bottle, though I do believe this particular bottle is less than two months old.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, vibrant, autumnal copper-golden color with just a thin coating of head. Some slight lacing is left behind.

S: Pretty faint when compared to the bevy of pale ale options out there; I'm picking up some light biscuity malt and lesser pronounced bits of floral and citrus hops.

T: Hops come through in the flavor, offering some bitterness and flavor; they're rather earthy and floral here, without much of the citrus flavors pulling through. A bready malt backbone stabilizes things. Not much really pops out at me here, though the taste is by no means offensive; in fact, it's almost watery at times with its lack of character.

M: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, which lends the beer a creamy character. Fairly smooth with a moderately dry finish.

O: Extraordinarily easy to drink and quite refreshing, but largely because the beer doesn't seem to ask much of the drinker– this is a pretty straightforward brew, with a light sweetness upfront followed by light bitterness on the finish, and the sweet/bitter qualities largely overshadow any particular flavors. I have nothing but love for Founders, but when I look to buy a pale ale in the future I will probably look for a different option.

06-26-2012 05:40:33 | More by AwYeh
Photo of Skye1024


2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

12-17-2011 22:26:52 | More by Skye1024
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,228 ratings.